City of Port Phillip…the next Detroit?

July 25, 2013

From James Paterson

As you might have heard, Detroit is bankrupt. In the New York Times Paul Krugman says (I am not joking) “it’s just one of those things that happens“. Yep. Just one of those things that happens when you follow advice from people like Paul Krugman that government debt is no big deal.

For the best commentary on the lessons from Detroit you can’t go past these great pieces from our friends Dan Hannan and Mark Steyn, and this video from our friend Mary Kissel. If you want one graph that explains it all – this is it. The city’s decline is also brilliantly captured in these photographs. And as the IPA’s Julie Novak warns, there’s much for Australia to learn too.

But perhaps there is a silver lining. While government collapses, the private sector and civil society are re-emerging to fill its place. And Bono has some good advice that applies to Detroit – only capitalism can end poverty.

Next time you hear a local council needs to increase rates – or federal funding – for essential community services, remember this story. It’s from the City of Port Phillip, the same council that brought you Smile Spies. And it seems when councils aren’t wasting money, they’re persecuting good Samaritans.

And here’s yet another example of your taxes being spent to push ideological causes, this time to new migrants. I suspect they wouldn’t have much luck if they tried their indoctrination on this refugee from Iraq.

This is a fun tool from the Cato Institute – calculate how much global temperature increases will be averted based on your chosen emissions reductions for the United States or the industrialised world.

Finally, this week’s interesting read: a review of George Gilder’s upcoming book which could reshape the way we think about economics.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

 

Click here to view Hey on the web | Click here to forward this email to a friend | Click here to unsubscribe

Institute of Public Affairs | Level 2 | 410 Collins Street | Melbourne | Victoria | 3000 | Australia

 

Subscribe to Hey... what did I miss, delivered each week for free directly into your inbox.

Nanny State pulls one out of the hat

July 18, 2013

From James Paterson

If Tasmania is looking for a new license plate, they could always go with “Tasmania, the welfare state”.

This graph is from an upcoming report by the IPA’s Julie Novak. If South Australia wants to avoid becoming like Tasmania, they should start by heeding this advice from Bob Day.

Ever heard the one about the shrinking US middle-class? Turns out it is true – but not for the reasons you might think.

This is a great list from Reason: “45 enemies of freedom“.

It was obviously an enemy of freedom who thought up this plan for 10-year-old bullies. And no-one who loves freedom would require a magician to file a disaster plan for his…rabbit. But the biggest enemy of freedom this week has to be Greater Dandenong Council for their shameful persecution of this incredible resident.

If this campaign from the American Civil Liberties Union seemed a bit far-fetched when it was launched in 2006, it certainly doesn’t now.

This was an important article in the Wall Street Journal last week: big government isn’t just immoral and inefficient – it actually just doesn’t work.

But here’s the good news – the private sector works great. One crowdfunding website, Kickstarter, raised more for the arts than the entire US government. Even the Washington Post admits “individual donors…were always better patrons than government.”

And here’s two great reads in Spiked – on why there can never be too much choice by Matt Ridley, and why awareness raising is stupid, by Frank Furedi.

If you’re in Melbourne next Tuesday 23 July make sure you get along to this great event: Jeff Kennett will launch a new biography of former NSW Premier (and IPA member) Nick Greiner. Details here.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

 

Click here to view Hey on the web | Click here to forward this email to a friend | Click here to unsubscribe

Institute of Public Affairs | Level 2 | 410 Collins Street | Melbourne | Victoria | 3000 | Australia

Subscribe to Hey... what did I miss, delivered each week for free directly into your inbox.

Melbourne Uni…moulding young minds

July 11, 2013

From James Paterson

Don’t ever say universities aren’t preparing students for the real world. At Melbourne University second year Arts students are being taught how to apply for government grants. And they’re encouraged to “imagine the money you apply for is infinite.”

Perhaps the students are being trained to be bureaucrats. Bad news if they are: a recent court ruling means bureaucrats can’t sue the government for not firing them.

We don’t normally include media releases from politicians in Hey. But we’re happy to make an exception for this gem from NSW MLC Peter Phelps, which includes the phrase “playa”.

Last week we thought we’d found the worst excesses of the Nanny State. But that’s before we saw this proposal to ban the school drop off (see if you can guess why). And before we found out 16 year old Australians could be arrested for tweeting song lyrics.

This is one of the most amazing long reads we’ve ever included in Hey. It’s an excerpt from a new book by Radley Balko on how US police are totally out of control. This sentence gives you an idea of how bizarre it is: “Denver police added that it was fairly common to take sports stars on drug raids.”

If you think that makes the US government look bad, how about this story? The federal agency charged with promoting economic growth decided to physically destroy their computer keyboards, mice, cameras and printers…because they had a virus. Oh, and Florida might have just accidentally banned all computers.

Here’s another great read: Spectator editor Fraser Nelson on Egypt’s biggest problem – insufficient capitalism, not democracy.

The IPA’s video on the local government referendum has been viewed more than 15,000 times in its first week – if you haven’t watched it yet, click here.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

 

Click here to view Hey on the web | Click here to forward this email to a friend | Click here to unsubscribe

Institute of Public Affairs | Level 2 | 410 Collins Street | Melbourne | Victoria | 3000 | Australia

Subscribe to Hey... what did I miss, delivered each week for free directly into your inbox.

The Nanny State’s new low…toilet training

July 4, 2013

From James Paterson

If you click on one link in Hey this week, make it this one. The IPA has today released the definitive video explaining exactly why the local government referendum deserves to fail:

This is an amazing story from the BBC Magazine last week – and a cautionary tale if you’re considering investing in France – on the factory that isn’t allowed to close. And for those who think regulations don’t hurt living standards, read this important new report from the US. Government spending hurts too – as Chile and Ecuador show.

There was some good news in Canada last week – their anti-free speech ‘Mark Steyn law’ has finally been repealed. But (surprise, surprise) the EU is going backwards on free speech.

Here’s two Nanny State ideas so crazy surely even the most enthusiastic paternalist would say enough is enough: UK social workers want to inspect new parents’ homes to ensure they’re child safe, and a political party in Sweden wants to regulate how men use the bathroom.

And if you still think only civil libertarian extremists can be concerned about government surveillance, I give you…John Cusack.

Overnight in Egypt the military has removed the government of Mohammed Morsi. This excellent piece in The Telegraph explains how it happened and here’s a profile of the caretaker president.

This week a giant of freedom, influential political theorist Kenneth Minogue, passed away. Julie Novak remembers him at Catallaxy Files, as does John O’Sullivan at the National Review.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

 

Click here to view Hey on the web | Click here to forward this email to a friend | Click here to unsubscribe

Institute of Public Affairs | Level 2 | 410 Collins Street | Melbourne | Victoria | 3000 | Australia

Subscribe to Hey... what did I miss, delivered each week for free directly into your inbox.


Subscribe in your RSS reader